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Al-Ain Amharic - What Is Life Like for Residents of Raya and Alamata Areas Which Are Under Control of Tigray Armed Forces?

Disclaimer: This is an English translation of an Amharic article taken from AI-Ain and is intended solely for information purposes.

Al-Ain Amharic - What is life like for residents of Raya and Alamata areas which are under control of Tigray armed forces?

Residents of the Raya and Alamata areas say they feel they have been “betrayed” by the Federal Government

April 28, 2024

Tigray armed forces encamped 15-km from Alamata have been deploying additional forces by the day.

Following the former Tigray Special Force carrying out an attack on the ENDF Northern Command which was located in the (Tigray) region, the Northern Ethiopia War was triggered and lasted over two years until the African Union-mediated peace deal which was signed in Pretoria, South Africa.

After the deal was signed though the war had stopped, in recent weeks Tigray armed forces invaded the Raya and Alamata areas which have raised fears of another war breaking out.

The Amhara Region (Government) stated it had been invaded by TPLF militants however the Tigray Interim Regional Administration responded saying the matter was one facet of the Pretoria deal.

Following this, Al-Ain Amharic spoke to residents of the Raya and Alamata areas which are under control of Tigray armed forces, to inquire what life is like for them.

One farmer residing in Andorae Kebele located in close proximity to Alamata but opted to remain anonymous out of fear for their safety said we have been subjected to suffering again when we hoped we would finally receive a resolution.

According to the source “ever since the Tigray armed forces came they have been looting our property. They ate my crops which were prepared to sell and then they used the ends of their guns to strike me.”

Since they entered our kebele on Monday afternoon they have been entering houses of farmers and attacking us threatening us to give them our guns, and they refused to leave us alone even when we told them we were farmers with no involvement in politics.

Another source said there were some who lived among us but they went to Tigray out of concern and since the months of Sene and Ginbot 2015 EC (between May 9 to July 7, 2023) they have begun returning. The source added during the previous period of administration they (Tigrayan administraters) subjected residents to intense suffering.

Another source and resident of Alamata town said Tigray armed forces are stationed encircling Alamata within a radius of 15-km.

The militants are wearing civilian attire and entering the town impersonating residents, they are looting government institutions and destroying documents and are terrorizing residents through various means according to the source who added federal security forces are present in the area but have not prevented the displacement of local residents.

The source said they expected the Federal Government would provide a lasting resolution on the matter of Raya and Alamata but instead gave them up to the Tigray armed forces, the people feel they have been betrayed.

Another source residing in Selaen Wuha Kebele on their end said the Tigray armed forces have taken full control of rural kebeles of the Raya and Alamata areas and that additional armed forces are entering the areas by the day.

The source said the militants are entering residents’ houses and even eating their food, in one stance they were harassing a mother who was traveling to the farm fields to bring food to her husband and they harassed her accusing her of giving support to the Amhara forces, and the federal security forces witnessed this happen but had no desire to stop it.

Residents who previously left their homes and traveled to Mekelle and Shire returned to their homes and we are now farming together but the militants came and caused them to suffer as well.

The source said the (Tigray) militants would gather them and tell them from now on they (Tigray forces) would administer them, they said Amhara Region identification would no longer be recognized, and they would harass them telling them to give up their children and that they were providing support to Amhara forces.

Though the month of Miyazia 2016 EC (April 9 - May 8, 2024) is when residents would harvest, they are now living in terror over what could transpire, and they expressed they are tired of always living under persecution and suffering and are calling for a lasting resolution.

The UN has reported more than 50,000 residents have been displaced from Alamata and the surrounding area

Efforts to include comments from the Tigray Interim Regional Administration regarding ongoing abuses in rural kebeles of Raya and Alamata under control of their militants were unsuccessful.

Efforts were made to call Federal Government Communications Services Minister Legesse Tulu (PhD) to provide clarification on grievances raised by local residents but the response was to make a request for comment in writing but no response was provided.

The African Union and embassies of 7 western countries based in Addis Ababa city issued statements expressing concern over renewed clashes in areas bordering Amhara and Tigray Regions.

The UNOCHA on its end reported more than 50,000 residents were displaced as a result of renewed clashes in the Raya and Alamata areas.


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